Monday, December 11, 2006

Under That Silky Roof, Elizabeth Robinson

The most recent poetry collection from American poet and editor Elizabeth Robinson is Under That Silky Roof (Providence RI: Burning Deck, 2006), after various other poetry collections including Apostrophe (Apogee, 2006), Apprehend (Apogee / Fence / Saturnalia, 2003), Pure Descent (Sun & Moon, 2003), Harrow (Omnidawn, 2001) and House Made of Silver (Kelsey St. Press, 2000). The editor of EtherDome Press and the magazine 26, she teaches at the University of Colorado. A collection of sequences, Robinson's Under That Silky Roof feels less a collection of individual pieces and more a single work, along the same lines of the accumulations of works by Fanny Howe, working all of her pieces as fragments of a much larger whole.

This late, single knowledge
clad in warmth

Suffusing the end
he drops off

The study required
in similarities

The pleasure of how


due the reflection it is (part v, RESERVOIR)

Part of the allusion, Robinson's light touch moving from point to point to point through her steady accumulations reminds of Quebec poet D.G. Jones, in a number of his long poems, or even selections from Prince George, British Columbia poet Barry McKinnon, but working less a series of reminders or touchstones upon subject, but lighter as she moves. Robinson's poems are abstracts that don’t feel abstract, working their slowness down the page, writing:

Where the ones who recount

and blend their
sparse red
and green

I hesitate to stutter

For down there

it's foam
or tiny pieces of it

Its interned softness
much else

Lichen, inhaling
sparse grainy nerves (part ii, INTERRUPTING THE GOWN)

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